July 8, 2011 — Minneapolis, MN

Nonviolent Peaceforce Provides Unarmed Civilian Protection To Southern Sudan In Support Of New NationAs Southern Sudan celebrates its first independence day, unarmed civilian peacekeeping — a new approach to human security with Minnesota roots — is saving lives and protecting civilians there. 

Over a year ago, Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), an international nongovernmental organization based in Brussels with a U.S. office in Minneapolis, deployed an international unarmed civilian peacekeeping team to Southern Sudan at the invitation of local organizations.

The team protects civilians and works with local civil society to prevent violence in the states of Western and Central Equatoria. NP peacekeepers live and work shoulder-to-shoulder with civilians living under extreme threat of violence. NP provides direct protection to those vulnerable to violence, including women and children, especially children at risk of abduction by armed groups. 

Read more: Nonviolent Peaceforce Provides Unarmed Civilian Protection To Southern Sudan In Support Of New...

HERALDS OF CONSCIENCE AND NONVIOLENCE

Minneapolis, MN - The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship announces that Presbyterians Bill Galvin and Mel Duncan will receive the 2009 and 2010 PeaceSeeker Awards at the Peace Breakfast on Wednesday, July 7, held in conjunction with the meeting of the 219th General Assembly of the PC (USA) in Minneapolis. These once-in-a-lifetime awards celebrate Galvin’s ministry with Conscientious Objectors to war and Duncan’s pioneering work as co-founder of the Nonviolent Peaceforce. A national community of over 3,000 Presbyterians, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship presented its first PeaceSeeker Award in 1970 to Stated Clerk William P. Thompson for his work on behalf of Presbyterian Conscientious Objectors during the Viet Nam War.

Read more: Mel Duncan to receive peaceseeker award

In February 2010, swisspeace conducted an evaluation of the Nonviolent Peaceforce’s activities in the Mindanao province. Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) Philippines and its program activities were designed in 2007 to offer civilian protection and to support local structures and process of human rights protection, cease-fire monitoring, early warning and violence reduction in the Mindanao province. Being the only international non-governmental organization working with and living in close proximity to the most conflict-affected population in Mindanao, NP was able to support and enhance local structures to achieve the above mentioned goals as well as cross-community dialogue. NP also accepted the offer in late 2009 by the conflict parties – the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – to join the civilian protection component of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) of the peace process. This is a direct expression and result of NP’s successful contributions to violence reduction and non-violence in the last two years.

The aim of swisspeace’s evaluation was threefold:  To assess the achievement of objectives and the effectiveness of NP’s work in Mindanao and the perception of NP among a sample of partner organizations, stakeholders, conflict parties and beneficiaries. Secondly, to offer the basis and opportunity for collaborative sharing and learning about the latest thinking on conflict analysis and strategic program design as well as monitoring in peacebuilding. Thirdly, based on the mission’s findings, recommendations for NP’s future work were made. For this evaluation, interviews and focus group discussions with a wide range of local stakeholders, beneficiaries, conflict parties, NP staff and partner organizations were conducted in Manila and Mindanao. A one-day workshop on international lessons learned on program design and effectiveness of peace practice was conducted for national and international staff and management of NP. The findings have been published in a report. We will provide a link to that report as soon as one becomes available. 

DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE EVALUATION AS A PDF BY CLICKING HERE.